NEW YORK - Given a choice among the Police, John Mayer and Madonna on television or a summer's night out, millions of Americans chose the latter.
The Live Earth concert, Al Gore's sprawling worldwide effort to raise environmental awareness, wasn't a big television draw. NBC's Saturday-night highlights show was seen by 2.75 million people, according to Nielsen Media Research, or fewer people than watched the soccer match between Argentina and Peru that night on Univision.
The Live Earth showing is slightly under the 2.9 million who watched the Live 8 concert on ABC in 2005, Nielsen said.
"I don't think it was the kind of thing where people were talking like they had to get home to watch it," said Marc Berman, analyst for Media Week Online.
The week of July 4th is generally the least-watched one of the year for broadcast television networks, and people are accustomed to tuning out TV on Saturday nights, Berman said. Televised concerts have not been a big draw over the past few years, particularly when 1960s-era artists are not prominently involved.
Bravo's 18-hour Live Earth coverage averaged 740,000 viewers, making it the best Saturday in that network's history.
CBS won the week with an average of 6.3 million viewers (4.3 rating, 8 share), while NBC was second with a 4.9 million viewer average (3.3, 6). Fox had 4.8 million viewers (3.0, 6), ABC had 4.2 million (2.8, 5), the CW had 1.8 million (1.2, 2), My Network TV had 930,000 (0.6, 1) and ION Television had 650,000 (0.4, 1).
Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision averaged 2.9 million viewers (1.6 rating, 3 share), TeleFutura had 1.5 million (0.8, 2), Telemundo had 970,000 (0.6, 1) and Azteca had 80,000 viewers 0,1, 1).
During the holiday week and with Brian Williams absent for three days, NBC's "Nightly News" fell under 7 million viewers for the first time since "people meter" records began in 1987. The "CBS Evening News" also just missed a record low viewership. ABC's "World News" led the way with 7.5 million viewers (5.2 rating, 12 share), NBC had 6.8 million (4.7, 10) and CBS had 5.6 million (4.0, 9).
A ratings point represents 1,114,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 111.4 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.
For the week of July 2-8, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (Thursday, 10 p.m.), CBS, 9.42 million; "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader," Fox, 8.47 million; "CSI: Miami," CBS, 8.4 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 8.19 million; "Two and a Half Men," CBS, 8.18 million; "Hell's Kitchen," Fox, 8.12 million; "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader" (Thursday, 8 p.m.), Fox, 7.86 million; "Macy's 4th of July Fireworks," NBC, 7.58 million; "NCIS," CBS, 7.57 million; "Big Brother" (Thursday), 7.4 million.